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Crown Rule In India

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  • Last Updated : 28 Nov, 2022
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Nowadays success in every single examination like Bank, SSC, and others depends much on the candidate’s performance in the General Studies Section. This section has a good weightage of questions coming from History and politics. In this article, we will discuss one of the history topics. This is a very important topic in the upcoming exams.

Constitutional Development- Crown Rule (1858-1947) 

Constitutional Development


Government of India Act of 1858
  • The Government of India Act 1858, passed by the British Parliament, ended the rule of the East India Company. Powers were transferred to the British Crown. 
  • The Secretary of State for India was vested with the powers and duties of the former Court of Directors. He controlled the Indian administration through the Viceroy of India. 
  • The Secretary of State for India was supported by the Council of India. This council had 15 members. The Council was an advisory body. 
  • Governor-General of India appointed Viceroy of India. 
  • Lord Canning became the first Viceroy of India.
Indian Council Act of 1861
  • Indians were nominated for the first time as unofficial members of the Viceroy’s Legislative Council. 
  • Legislative Councils were established in the provinces and in the center. 
  •  Bombay and Madras provinces got their legislative powers restored. 
  • Legislative Councils were established in Punjab Provinces, North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Bengal.
Indian Council Act of 1892
  • This Act has increased the size of the  Legislative Council. 
  • The  Council was given more powers, it had the power to deliberate on the budget and could ask questions from the Executive. 
  • Indirect elections were introduced for the first time. 
  • The principle of representation was established under the terms of the Indian Council Act of 1892
Indian Councils Act, 1909 
  • The Act is also known as the Morley Minto Reforms. 
  •  Direct elections for Legislative Councils were introduced for the first time.  
  • Central Legislative Council was renamed as  Imperial Legislative Council. 
  • The Communal representation system was introduced, creating a separate electorate. It was a system where seats were reserved only for Muslims and only Muslims were contested. 
  • For the first time, Indians were appointed to the Executive Council of the Viceroy. Satyendra Prasad Sinha became the first Indian to join the council as a member of the law.
Government of India Act, 1919
  • This  was also known as the “Montagu Chelmsford reforms”.
  •  For the first time, Bicameralism was Introduced.
  • Central and Provincial  Subjects got separated.
  • Dyarchy was introduced in the Provinces and subjects were divided into Reserved and Transferred. The Transferred subjects were given to the Government of Ministers accountable to the Provincial Council. The reserved list was under the jurisdiction of the Viceroy.
  • Out of six members of the Viceroy’s Executive Council, three were Indians.
  •  For the First time, The Act provided for the establishment of the Public Service Commission.
  • There was an extension of Communal Representation to Christians, Anglo-Indians, and Sikhs.
  • There was a limited franchise given to Indians.
  • Under the Act, there was a provision for setting up a statutory commission to look into the working of the Government.
Government of India Act 1935
  • This Act was the last constitutional measure introduced by the British. It was the result of several round tables conferences and the report of the Simon Commission. 
  • Introduction of the bicameral system in six provinces (Bengal, Bombay, Madras, Assam, Bihar, and United Provinces) out of eleven provinces. 
  • The legislature got expanded in the provinces. 
  • According to the Act, the Subjects were divided into the federal list, state list, and concurrent list.
  • Provincial autonomy was introduced in the provinces and diarchy got abolished. 
  • The diarchy was accepted at the centre. 
  • This Act provided for the Establishment of the Federal Court, Reserve Bank of India (RBI). 
  • There was a provision for establishing the All India Federation, consisting of provinces and the princely states as entities.
Cripps Mission – 1942
  • In 1942 the Cripps Mission was sent to India under the leadership of Sir Stafford Cripps. Some of the  Cripps Mission’s suggestions are listed below. 
  • India would receive Dominion status after World War II. 
  • After the end of World War II, an elected body would be established in India to frame the Indian Constitution. 
  • Even the Indian states would participate in the constituent body. 
  • Almost all parties and sections in India rejected the  Cripps mission’s proposals.
Cabinet Mission – 1946

 The main proposals of the Cabinet Mission plan were:

  • The Indian States and British Provinces might integrate to shape the Union of India.
  • A Constituent Assembly was formed having 389 members from different sections.
  • Members of major political parties would form the interim government.
  • The Constituent Assembly would be working as a representative body.
  • Until the Constitution become framed, the Constituent Assembly might act because of the Dominion Legislature.
  • Until the Constitution become framed, India might be administered according to the Government of India Act, 1935.
Indian Independence Act – 1947
  • British India was partitioned into India and Pakistan effective on August 15, 1947. 
  • Full legislative powers were given to the Constituent Assembly. 
  • Provincial and State governments were established.
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